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nose job at the boneyard

The sprawling wasteland of decommissioned million-dollar military planes at the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson, AZ known as “The Boneyard” became home to the art show The Boneyard Project: Return Trip. This group show originally seen at the Eric Firestone Gallery in Easthamptons, New York featured the nose cones of planes painted by various artists. The original exhibit was called Nose Job. Added in Tucson were several complete planes painted by the artists. This project may not have been realized without the open space and dry heat of the Tucson desert. These massive planes would have been much too claustrophobic in a gallery. Also, very few New York galleries would have been able to contain even one.

apocalyptic looking “Warning Shot” by RETNA


Inside the museum’s hanger, the original nose cones from the New York exhibit were presented.

 Tristan Eaton Tara McPherson CRASH
Shepard Fairey
 Lisa Lebofsky Colin Chilag

Sometimes Arizona can be shockingly conservative in really silly ways. I don’t understand the point of having an art show if you are going to censor works or portions of works. Its not what I would understand to be the function of exhibiting an invited collection. It was amusing and saddening that some of the pieces were defaced. Would it make sense to ask George Carlin for afternoon tea and then put black tape over his mouth? Why bother?

Cover your eyes!
“Cathy Cowgirl Nose Cone” by Ron English dares to show exposed utters. Arizona families need to be protected from the horrors of cow anatomy. Guess what? The milk you had on your cereal this morning came from those! It’s true. If the museum directors ever drive through the Dairylands of America, they are in for a shocker! Also, I was confused how Tara McPherson’s cone escaped censorship. Maybe Ron English’s message was too strong?







One of my favorites from this exhibit was a brilliant wing job by Trusto Corp. At first glance it seems to be the usual marketing you would see on a race car or at any sporting event. However, this one has a message if you’re paying attention. Unfortunately, this was one of the works defaced by the museum. Black tape now covers an “F.” Now, nobody knows what it originally said. The funny (moronic) thing is the two naughty words that remain uncovered in this piece.
“10 good years of W A R” by Trusto Corp.

After that, I needed a breath of air. The Pilot and I have been to The Boneyard before. This time we went before that time of the year that the desert is exactly like standing under a hairdryer on full power. Today it was sunny and warm and perfect. The painted planes outside were great too. Set amongst the other deceased planes, it seemed as if vandals had broken in and had their way with unguarded skeletons.

If you are near Tucson, you should stop to see this unique show. It was great to see some culture in Arizona. I hope that the weird censorship won’t discourage future exhibits from coming to Arizona. This cultural desert needs exposure stat! Amazing weather and perfect culture at once would probably make my head explode though. For now, I’ll continue to stay dry and warm here and travel to the cultures of the world.
Happy trails!


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Posted in art and travel by dA on April 16th, 2012 at 4:08 PM.


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2 Replies

  1. Uncle$am Apr 18th 2012

    How perfect. Tara McPherson, Shepard Fairey, and Airplanes all together. It looks really cool.

  2. I know! Now you know how we heard of this! =D